Ben stock has a bit of a result on the historic Berkshire water.
Friday had come and the end of the day was drawing closer. Over the previous week or so I’d been planning a bit of a social on Wraysbury 1 North Lake with my good friend Dave, so I was itching to get on the road and get down there.
Once work finished I jumped in my van and made my way through the rush-hour traffic in Watford, only to be greeted by the infamous M25, gridlocked by all the other nine-to-fivers trying to escape the realities of working life. Unsurprisingly, the normally short 22-mile journey was nearing an hour and 30 minutes, but finally it was hello third gear and the junction for Wraysbury was in sight.
I met Dave and Little Alan in the car park and we made our way around to Springate’s Point in the buggy. Dave already had his gear set up in peg 7, as he’d fished the Thursday, so was just a case of getting his rods back on the spots. I took all my gear down to Springate’s and slowly started to set up. I must have spent two hours or so just casting my leads into the lowering sun, getting absolutely blinded and praying it would land on something half decent. The strong crosswind wasn’t doing me any favours, either, but luckily I managed to hit the lead on an area which felt pretty solid and decided to go for it. I clipped up and stuck a small handful of bait over the area then proceeded to tie my rigs.
I made my usual simple knotless knot rig with the hair cut off, using an eight-inch length of 20lb Dark Matter braid and a size 6 wide gape hook, and topped it with a 14mm pink Northern Special. The same rig has been doing the business for my last few captures. The left-hand rod went on the spot after about 10 attempts and just as many foam nuggets. I think the OCD started to kick in a little to be honest, but the rod was finally out and I was pretty confident it was fishing well. My right-hander was placed on a known spot just off the island to the right, with the same setup and the same small scattering of boilies over the top.
Now all the traps were set and it was time to get the Domino’s ordered! We sat back in between the swims admiring the intense red sky, whilst Little Alan was running around like a lunatic as usual. He even managed to sneakily relieve himself all over my foot whilst I wasn’t paying attention, but that’s Alan for ya! Anyway, the food eventually turned up and by the time we’d finished eating it was nearly 12 o’clock, so I made my way through the darkness and jumped into bed for some well needed sleep.
The night passed with not even a bleep. Although Dave had had a productive five-fish night on the Thursday, his spots didn’t pay off either unfortunately. Dave ended up setting off for work early and I spent the rest of the morning just chilling in my bedchair, watching the Lake.
It got to around noon and I was in the middle of making my 10th cuppa when the line from my left-hand rod pinged from the clip and just kept going and going. The rod was buckling off to the left as I shot out of bed and slipped down the tree-root-covered bank to make contact with the fish. It was an epic battle as I struggled to get my waders on with the fish kiting around the tree, but I managed to get in the water and, not long after wading out, a rather large common rolled over into my net. I made the call to Rupert Whiteman to explain I had something special and he made his way around with Jim and Al to take the photos. The fish went under the scales and the needle turned to 38lb 14oz, then Ru explained I had the mighty Red October. I couldn’t believe it – what a fish! It was my fourth Wraysbury original so far this year, and Ru took some lovely shots as always before we released the old brute back into the Lake.
Shortly after everyone had left, I reeled my other rod in and just sat back in the bivvy, absolutely speechless as the realisation of the capture started to hit me. I couldn’t actually believe the luck I was having; four absolute minters that I’d thought I could only ever dream of having in my photo album. Incredible!
After the buzz died down a little and I’d phoned half my contact list, it was time to get the rods back out. I placed them both back on the spots and applied just a few handfuls of CC Moore Live System boilies with a throwing stick.
Dave finished work not long afterwards and made his way back to the Lake. We ended up spending the majority of the afternoon chilling in the bivvy, just listening to a bit of music, and before long my left-hand rod was roaring off again. This time the hard fighting fish managed to weed me up shortly after I struck into it, so the next few moments saw Dave, the nutter, jumping into the Lake in his boxers to pull the bales of weed from the line. Thankfully, he managed to free the fish and it started tearing off again. The battle lasted another 10 minutes or so then we got her in the net. Instantly Dave turned around to say I had another original in there. I thought he was having me on to be honest, but the elderly specimen was in fact another Redmire strain common with a distinctive patch of missing scales near its paddle. This one weighed 31½lb.
What an absolutely outrageous weekend! I’d just like to say thank you to RK Leisure for the service that’s second to none there at Wraysbury, to Mr Ru Whiteman for the shots of Red October, and to Davey Williams for shots of the second capture. Legends.